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Thread: Griffin Powermate as only input device?

  1. #11
    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
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    I just got a Griffin PowerMate and installed it yesterday. It is perfect for controlling the volume and easier than using the Roadrunner screen buttons for that. I would hate to try to use it as my only input device for everything though. You would have to put a large amount of effort into setting up every application you would use for it and it would still be limited and require more attention to the screen than other methods.
    ~Jimmy

  2. #12
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    The point of using the Contour ShuttlePro is the programmable buttons. You have 13 buttons to define as you wish, and they can do different things by screen. The jog wheel in the middle can always adjust volume. I can navigate between skins, control functions such as next, previous, mute, vol+, vol-, etc. without ever looking at the screen. I also use it to control winamp directly, outside of RR. Just about everything you want to do in winamp has a keyboard shortcut which can be assigned to a button or jog wheel.

  3. #13
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    I have a hacked powermate, but I only use it for volume control.

    I hacked up a game pad and used CDr's Joypad 3.1 program (15 programmable inputs) to make buttons on the dash for audio, gps, ff, rwd, pause, mute, etc.

    I also have a piece of hardware called "carbuttons" purchased off a guy named "madhacker" that allows me to use my steering wheel controls through Girder.


    Just like a factory system, never have to look away from the road to control anything. Almost everything can be done by feel.....
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  4. #14
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    Thanks for the replies everyone, the SpaceNavigator looks to be the best of the bunch so far, but it looks very big! Anyone hacked one of these apart and just used the internals with a smaller dial ?

    Also, how would I go about configuring it for use with RR etc.. the website says it works with over 100+ apps but I'm guessing that you can somehow customise it for other apps too ??

    The touchpad looks like a great option but would require lots of extra toys to make the system usable without looking at the screen too much..

  5. #15
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    keep in mind if considering a mouse or trackball, when you hit bumps the pointer will be all over the place. I'd imagin it to be pretty annoying when watching movies. I went the touchpad route. Works like a charm and not to mention if you have issues with your touchscreen usb not being found after stand by or hibernation, then problem solved.

  6. #16
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autockr989 View Post
    keep in mind if considering a mouse or trackball, when you hit bumps the pointer will be all over the place.
    Exactly why the whole "trackball" input method went by the wayside............

    Touchpad sucks too as you have to take your attention away from the road too long to do anything. Useful at a stop though.......

    Whatever you settle on, make sur eit's something you can operate without looking away from the road (ie: work it by "feel").

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  7. #17
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    You can try the imon.

    http://www.soundgraph.com/Eng_/Produ...=1&leftMenu=26

    You won't have complete control, but if you combine that with the proper keybinding, shortcuts, girder and some compromise, you should have pretty good control of media apps.

    Having two knobs help too, you can have one as turn-volume, push-mute and the other as turn-navigate, and push-enter.

    I use both and I'm not sure if I would want to give up touchscreen control for better visibility though. Maybe one of those sunlight readable screens is a better compromise?




  8. #18
    Maximum Bitrate Kimota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    Touchpad sucks too as you have to take your attention away from the road too long to do anything. Useful at a stop though.......
    Cheers


    LIES I say all Lies, touchpads RULE


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  10. #20
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redls1bird View Post
    The idea is great, but i wouldnt trust it to the powermate. It is unreliable sometimes which makes life difficult without another input device. I originally wanted to go that rout as well. The only downside is using a control knob to navigate, you will be essentially just rotating it to tab through button choices. That means youll have to watch the screen more to tell where your cursor is.
    The powermate is pretty unreliable...many people seem to have difficulty with it not initializing correctly after hibernation/resume.

    Also, it is difficult to use a rotary knob like the Powermate that lacks physical indents (that "clicking" sensation felt when turning the control past one position) with a frontend, because you still are forced to look at the screen to determine whether a particular amount of rotation has selected the button you want to activate. With physical indents, the knob can simply be turned a single "clicks" or indents to select the next button by feel alone.

    I don't think a touchpad is the ideal solution either, because you still must look at the screen and navigate the cursor (a small visual target) to the appropriate button while contending with the natural motion of the car. A touchscreen does not have this problem, since you touch the visual element that you want to select directly.

    The BEST solution in terms of control is probably using individual hardware buttons that are discernible by touch for each function. However, fabrication is much more difficult! A good compromise is to have "soft" hardware buttons that correspond to particular portion of the screen, but change their function depending on the task at hand. For example, a button that always selects the first item in a list, whether that list is displaying music tracks or different modules (music, nav., etc.) within the frontend. I don't know of any front end that supports encoding hardware buttons in that manner, however.


    EDIT:

    It wouldn't be as difficult to implement hardware buttons that acted as softkeys as I originally thought. If the hardware buttons were tied to a program that would always "click" at a particular spot on the screen when pressed, then the content of the underlying button wouldn't matter, and there wouldn't need to be native frontend support...just a skin that placed the appropriate screen controls under the click point for each button. It would be very easy to then set up a tabular style interface (similar to the tabs in IE or Firefox), with each "tab" a separate module. If done correctly, much of the burden associated with finding the correct onscreen button to push could be eliminated through sufficient forethought in skin design. One program that could do this is AutoIT, a freeware scripting program that is very easy to use and highly configurable. Done. :-)

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